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Icy winds lash North, but respite could be round the corner 
Tribune News Service & PTI

New Delhi, January 1
North India continues to reel under an intense cold wave, but the good news is that some respite may be round the corner.

While the cold wave will continue to rage on for the next 48 hours at least, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) today assured that minimum temperatures would not dip any further. Relief could be expected around January 3 when a fresh Western Disturbance (WD) will hit the region.

Dense fog played spoilsport for fliers in New Delhi on New Year day as it disrupted operations at Indira Gandhi International airport, affecting over 100 flights. About 60 flights were delayed, 38 cancelled -- either due to poor weather at destination or due to operational reasons, while four international flights had to be diverted to Jaipur and Mumbai after visibility dropped to less 50 metres, an airport official said.

According to Met department, the airport may witness dense fog tomorrow morning too. All the four diverted aircraft were of Air India and coming from Muscat, Bahrain, Dubai and Frankfurt.

Fog or dense fog conditions will occur over Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, north Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, north Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam during the next three days.

The New Year saw the cold wave intensifying further in several parts of the country. Delhi and plains of Punjab and Haryana shivered as the mercury plunged. In the plains, the lowest minimum temperature of 0.7C was recorded at Narnaul in Haryana and Churu in Rajasthan. But the good news is that the Western Disturbance expected on January 3 will increase the minimum temperature and provide noticeable relief to the region where the cold wave toll is rising by the day.

While the WD, as the name suggests, is a weather phenomenon associated with clouds and rains, in winters, these also affect night temperatures. Bringing winter rain and snow to the northwestern parts, WDs are also usually associated with cloudy skies and higher night temperatures. The clouds provide a cover to the skies and do not allow heat to escape, thus improving the minimum temperatures.

As these brings rainfall, WDs are also very important from the rabi point of view.

Meanwhile, fog and dense fog were observed over some parts of Haryana, Delhi and west Uttar Pradesh. Cities where visibility has been reported less than 50m are Ambala, Delhi, Bhiwani, Agra, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Barabanki and Gorakhpur.

Cold wave conditions prevailed over isolated pockets of west Uttar Pradesh while minimum temperatures remained 2-3C below normal in NW.

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